WoW Cataclysm: Western Plaguelands Preview

Before introducing you to the changes to Western Plaguelands there are some less visible changes that should be noted.
Before introducing you to the changes to Western Plaguelands there are some less visible changes that should be noted. The rather tedious (and some would say annoying) job of faring Argent Crusade reputation via Scourge Stones has been removed, a change that should have taken place long ago. The level range for the newly designed zone has also changed to better implement Blizzard’s grand flow design. The one 50-58 zone has been reduced to a zone more suitable for players level  40-45.

Upon first entrance into the Western Plaguelands it’s clear that this zone has been changed for the better through the effects of Cataclysm. A once dead land, flowers now dot the ground and the grass is slowly coming back to life. The trees have regained their leaves and the whole land practically hums with new growth.

The wildlife here has also taken a turn for the better. While some diseased animals still haunt the landscape, more often than not in post-Cataclysm Western Plaguelands players will find themselves faced with healthy looking animals full of life.

Moving east across the zone players will come across Felstone Field. Before Cataclysm this place was overrun by Scourge and home to one of the many Scourge Cauldrons, which was placed directly in the center of the field. Now, Felstone Field has been reclaimed by the Alliance. The fences have been mended, the buildings repaired, and Allliance Laborer’s work tirelessly on their  growing crops.

Halfway between Felstone Field and Dalson’s Tears a grim sight meets the eye. Formerly in this location there was a small camp filled with Scarlet Crusade members and their pets. Much like the destruction found in Venomweb Vale in Tirisfal Glades this camp has been eradicated, all that remains are bodies engulfed in purple flames.

Moving further east past the carnage of the Scarlet encampment players will be greeted with a much happier sight. The place formerly known as Dalson’s Tears, overrun by Scourge with its very own Scourge Cauldron has also been reclaimed by the Alliance. As such, with pumpkins thriving in the fields and the Scourge ran off, this area has been renamed fittingly; Dalson’s Farm.

Just outside of Dalson’s Farm a grouping of tents has appeared in what is now called the Menders Stead. Residing in these tents are Cenarion Circle members of all races. These Cenarion members are to credit with the reclaiming of Dalson’s Farm, and also perhaps for the general renewal of the Western Plaguelands in general.

A new flight path has also been added here by the Cenarion Circle. Thankfully, players won’t need to walk to gain access to Western Plaguelands in Cataclysm thanks to the new flight paths such as this one.

The road leading north has been cleared of debris. No longer will players find fallen logs and machines of war, nor will Infected Deer be found along this path.

The renewal of the land has drawn in a few new inhabitants. Redpaw Gnolls have taken up residence along the northern road, giving players some new mobs to kill.

The Scarlet forces in the area seem to have vanished. Whether this is because of the recent appearance of the Gnolls, or due to some other reason remains unknown.

Moving further up this road, at the next area of wall that was once overrun with Scarlet forces, it becomes easier to see what may have happened to them. While there is not a living soul to be seen in this area, the Argent Crusade flag now flies here.

Just down the road a small force of Argent soldiers is on patrol, confirming the fact that they are now in charge in this part of the land.

The tower that once held Scarlet forces just before reaching Hearthglen was also claimed by the Argent Crusade. However, while their flags fly on the tower it appears they have been slack in patrolling the area as Gnoll Looters have arrived on the scene. On a brighter note the tower now has it’s very own name; Taelan’s Tower.

When Hearthglen is finally reached it becomes clear that there is indeed an Argent Crusade force in the area, and it’s larger than ever expected. The Scarlet Crusade forces that once dominated Hearthglen are gone, and a new brighter Hearthglen era has begun. While not much has changed except for the owners of Hearthglen, at the very least it’s nice as a Horde player to be able to walk into this part of the zone without fear of attack.

Moving back south down the road and to the east, players will come across another new addition to the zone; Malicia’s Outpost. This is no new town for Alliance or Horde, but instead is a very sinister grouping of mobs. In the center is Instructer Malicia who happens to be floating in the middle of some kind of summoning circle. Judging by the deadened state of the trees and the plagued wildlife wandering near here, this appears to be an attempt to undo the efforts of the Cenarion Circle.

Near Malicia’s Outpost lies the Weeping Cave. The familiar Vile Slimes, Rotting Behemoths, and Devouring Oozes have been replaced with some much more interesting looking specimens.

Southwest of the Weeping Cave and Malicia’s Outpost Gahrron’s Withering can be found. This farmstead is the only one in Western Plaguelands that has yet to be reclaimed, perhaps due to the closeness of Malicia’s forces.  Even the Scourge Cauldren and it’s Cauldron Lord remain. Because of this, Gahrron’s Withering has changed little even while the rest of the zone has taken many steps forward.

West of Gahrron’s Withering lies the Writhing Haunt. This farmstead, unlike the one before it, is in the process of being rebuilt, replanted, and returned to its former glory. It really is good to see this once dead land come back to life. While this place still needs much work before it is returned to complete functionality the progress here is promising.

With the Western Plaguelands fast becoming a profitable land, the Alliance and Horde (namely the Forsaken) have both made bids on the land. No where is this more evident than in Andorhal. Once the stronghold of the Scourge, now both Forsaken and Alliance forces do battle against the Scourge remaining here, with both factions hoping to stake their claim.  

Some of Andorhal has already been purged of the Scourge, and as such both Alliance and Forsaken forces have set up bases here with the Forsaken in the east and the Alliance in the west. Will these two forces engage in their own battle once all of the Scourge have been purged from this land?

This day may be a long time coming though as Araj the Summoner still stands strong in the center of Andorhal. Until he is defeated the Scourge will never truly be gone from Andorhal.

Escaping the chaos of Andorhal to Chillwind Camp we find that the ruined house here has been rebuilt and a family has taken up residence inside. The camp itself still remains in the back of the house, with a few new additions of the Argent Dawn persuasion.

Sorrow Hill is also undergoing some changes. A new wall that looks like the work of the Argent Crusade has been put in place of the old gate, the Scourge have been cleared from the area, and the mausoleum (or at least that’s what I always assumed it was) is in the process of getting a facelift as well.

With the Scourge gone from this place, more friendly ghosts have  appeared. The graveyards have been renewed and the whole place gleams with newness.

Uther’s Tomb has been given the same royal treatment that was provided to Sorrow Hill. With an extravagant new walkway, and a complete restoration of the tomb itself, this place is now truly a fitting burial place for a hero such as Uther.

The final stop on our journey through the Western Plaguelands is the island which houses Scholomance and the town of Caer Darrow . Sadly enough this island has not been freed from the plague, and the houses here still stand in ruins haunted by the souls of the past.  

At the top of the hill lies Scholomance, still an academy dedicated to prospective necromancers of the Scourge. It truly appears that nothing on this deserted isle has changed. Inside Scholomance all appears the same as well except for the appearance of 4 quest givers  that once could be found in other various locations just inside the entrance.

This concludes our tour of the Western Plaguelands, to share your thoughts on the changes you have seen here join us on our forums!

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